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Bridgewater, MA 2009 population: 25,185
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.2 square miles (73.1 km²), of which, 27.5 square miles (71.2 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (2.62%) is water. Bridgewater is 99th out of the 351 communities in the Commonwealth, and eighth out of the twenty-seven towns in Plymouth County in terms of land area.
Neighborhoods in Bridgewater include Stanley, Scotland, Pratt Town (Paper Mill Village), and South Bridgewater. Bridgewater lies along the Taunton River, which has several other rivers and brooks which branch off of the main waterway.
There are also several ponds, the largest of which is Lake Nippenicket along the western edge of the town. There is also a state forest, a town forest, several conservation areas and a large portion of the Hockomock Swamp Wildlife Management Area, in the western part of town.
Bridgewater is now led by seven precinct councilors, 1 per precinct, and 2 at large councilors, with an appointed town manager, assessor, tax collector, for a total of 9 councilors. This is from the majority Yes vote on #1 at the April 24, 2010 annual town election, to change from a 5 person elected board of selectmen to a 9 person town council, and thus abolishing the annual town meeting.
Bridgewater shares its school district with neighboring Raynham, with both towns operating their own elementary and middle schools, and sending their students to a common high school.
The town is also home to Bridgewater State University, a public liberal arts university that was originally founded as a teachers school in 1840. It is the largest of the state’s nine state universities outside of the University of Massachusetts system.
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